Infertility Awareness Month: My Experience


infertilityApril is infertility awareness month. I always dreamed of being a mom, so I started getting really frustrated and sad when things didn’t happen right away. 

You see, I got married in 2009. We both wanted children, but we thought we should wait the first year and enjoy our newlywed life and get used to living together. 2010 came, and my husband and I were planning to live abroad, so we thought it would be nice to wait one more year to not add stress about moving.

Then came 2011. We decided to get off birth control before we moved because we knew it would take some time to get back to normal with my period, plus it might take time to get pregnant, and in our minds, that would probably be one more year altogether so it was perfect. His master’s program was one year, so that gave us time to enjoy and practice (LOL).

That’s when things started to go south. My period didn’t come after stopping with birth control. There were many factors involved, but the point is it didn’t come, and we were living in a different country.

I went to see a doctor, and she basically told us we would never get pregnant naturally. She treated us horribly! Since it was a private hospital, she wanted me to start doing IVF. We decided that was not going to be true for us (I mean, her bad diagnosis, not that we were against IVF), but we looked for a second opinion. 

We went to the university hospital, which was one of the best in Europe, and they made a thorough diagnosis to both myself and my husband, which took about a month to complete. In the end, I was diagnosed with PCOS. Everything was well with my husband, so the doctor said it shouldn’t be long before we were pregnant.

Six months later, and still, nothing happened. During this time, I prayed and used the time to do some thinking and focus on personal growth. I felt very lonely and isolated as I was living far from my family and friends. I didn’t want to share this struggle because I was afraid of people minimizing my feelings. I kept it all in and pretended everything was fine.

Then we moved again, and we had to stop our treatment and wait for another 3 to 4 months until we settled down and could have an appointment with a specialist. Finally, in December 2011, we did another month of treatment with some pills, which didn’t work. I was disappointed as now we had to go through the next step, which was injections.

I was feeling so negative. To my surprise, it took 27 days of injections to calculate the amount of medicine I needed for one follicle to grow. The doctor told me it was almost the size we wanted it to be so we could get busy and try to conceive. She told me she would need to check me on Monday because that day was a Friday. So her indications were to continue with the injections over the weekend, and we will receive new injections on Monday.

I felt very hopeful, and we celebrated that weekend. On Monday, a different doctor checked me and said I couldn’t get pregnant because I had not one but four follicles grown, and we (they) didn’t want a pregnancy with multiples. He gave me yet another injection to release the follicles and told me over no circumstances to have sex during the next five days. We didn’t.

I felt sad and discouraged because I didn’t think it would happen that month. The next two to three weeks were a roller coaster of emotions, and I really felt I would never get pregnant. It had been almost two years trying, and I felt so lonely and lost. However, God had other plans in hand for me, and we were actually pregnant (remember the celebration?).

That pregnancy was a gift from heaven as it was absolutely perfect all the way to labor and delivery and beyond. Then it was time to have a second baby, and we really hoped everything would be fixed and we would get pregnant spontaneously, only we didn’t. Again we went to see the doctor.

In 2015 after the first or second month of trying, I got pregnant, but it ended being an ectopic pregnancy which almost killed me. I was very shaken from this experience and again felt lonely, sad, discouraged, confused, and all sorts of feelings came rushing to me over that period of time. I didn’t really know why all this was happening to me.

If I only ever dreamed of having babies and raising a family, why the heck was this so difficult? 

Every time a pregnant mom complained about her symptoms, I got mad! I wanted those symptoms! Every time a mom of two or three complained about how little time she had for herself, I got super angry! Crazy right? You get it… the thing is, we never know what the other person is feeling, and I know it’s hard to think about every single thing we comment and post online, but this month let’s think about it. 

In 2016 after almost another year of trying fertility treatments on and off for different reasons, we got pregnant with our rainbow baby, and she was born healthy in April 2017. She is a miracle too. 

I guess, what I want you to take from this, whether you are struggling with infertility or not, is that there is a time for everything.

I know some people never get pregnant and struggle for life with this. I wish there were something I could do for them to avoid the pain they suffer. I really do. I cried so many tears struggling with infertility. And by sharing this, I want you to know you are not alone. You are never alone. I see you. I understand your pain. I understand your feelings, and if I were there next to you, I would hug you and let you cry all you need because sometimes that was all I needed, a person who understood and stood there next to me. 

Please be gentle this month with your posts, with your jokes, with your complaints. Think about people like me, who struggled in silence. Be gentle and kind. 1 in 4 couples have had a miscarriage, and 1 in 8 are struggling with infertility. So you might have friends among you going through this. Remember this.